Stiles was in Derek's bed. No, really. It was the last day before school started up again, and the rest of the pack was off busy and his dad was working so he'd come here to find Derek in bed, still sleeping. He hadn't gotten up when Stiles arrived, which was enough to make Stiles worried. He had found the bed Derek was in at the far end of the loft in a corner.
"Derek?" Stiles had said, before tiptoeing around the frame and crawling onto the mattress.
"What are you doing?" Derek's voice was rough.
Stiles frowned. "Uh...sitting." He sat with a pillow behind him, back up against the headboard, which was just curvy metal twists. It wasn't so weird being here. They hadn't had all that long to figure out what was between them—it had been like ten days since Christmas—but things weren't as weird as Stiles would have thought.
No, in fact, after Christmas, Derek had taken to sneaking into Stiles' room through his window after the Sheriff left for work. Stiles tried to get him to use the front door, but so far, it hadn't worked. They did all sorts of things. Like Derek would shuffle around, touching everything in Stiles' room and watching Stiles do the essay he had been given to do over the holiday. And then Stiles would usually end up getting hungry and they'd end up downstairs, eating soup and watching TV. Which would sometimes lead to Derek kissing Stiles—since Stiles was still floored by this whole thing and had yet to grow a backbone and kiss Derek first—but most of the time Derek just watched Stiles. They would talk sometimes too; but mostly just Stiles talking at Derek.
"What's up?" Stiles asked after a few moments of silence. It wasn't that nice, calm silence that so often hung between them. No, this was boarderlining on uncomfortable, which put Stiles on edge.
Derek furrowed his eyebrows. He was laying on his back, arm behind his head, staring into darkness. The small bit of warmth that Stiles brought, along with the dip in the mattress, was shockingly comforting. "I was trying to sleep," he replied blinking slowly.
Stiles glanced around. There wasn't much light that came into this place, especially since it was cloudy out. He had nearly impaled himself walking up the stairs in the dim light. "Yeah? At three in the afternoon?"
"What do you want, Stiles?"
"You," Stiles said too quickly. "You…to talk to me. C'mon, it's a new year! Twenty-twelve! Apparently the world will end in December so we might as well live it up now, right?"
Derek turned his head slightly so he could see Stiles' dark silhouette.
"Which would mean big changes, jumping into things with two feet. For you, talking to me would be something, wouldn't it?" He glanced down and saw Derek looking at him. "What?"
"Stiles, you're sixteen," Derek started, looking back into darkness.
"I'm seventeen in a week," Stiles protested.
"It doesn't matter," Derek growled. He pushed himself up slightly on his elbows. "I'm just...you are a kid, Stiles."
Stiles sucked in a breath. He knew where this was going. "No way, man," he said loudly, turning his whole body so he was facing Derek. "You're the one who kissed me first, your argument is invalid. If I thought any different, don't you think I'd have told you? C'mon, I talk all the time, I don't keep quiet about anything."
Derek wasn't looking at him. He looked...really sad and it was sort of freaking Stiles out. "I can't push you into anything." Can't, not wont. He chose his words deliberately.
"Hey, all this is new for me. I might not know much but...well Scott said...he said I like smelled different because if you or something, like way before I really realized I liked you, you know...so apparently I knew before I knew." Stiles furrowed his eyebrows, trying to make sense of his own words.
"Yeah," Derek said. "I know."
"You know? You knew?" Stiles tried not to feel mortified. His body had betrayed him.
"Yeah." Derek had...it was confusing at first, but he had figured it out.
"Man," Stiles whined. "It sucks being the only one without superpowers."
Derek's eyes flared red. "No," he said sharply, locking his fingers around Stiles' wrist. "You're human. It's good. You should stay that way."
Stiles' eyes grew big. "Okay." Derek's hand was warm. "Can I um...can I ask you something?"
He was nervous. Derek could smell it. "Sure." He was dreading whatever question the bundle of spazz could come up with.
"It's um...I was googling stuff," Stiles started. "Actually..." He paused and shuffled around until he was on his back, shoulders level with Derek's, staring at the ceiling. "I was looking things up...about wolves. Like the animal kind. And...I'm just gunna come out and ask...do werewolves like, mate for life?"
Derek waspaying attention to what Stiles was saying, but he was also focused on his scent and his heartbeat and how Derek was admittedly scared with whatever was going on here, between himself and this human. At Stiles' question, Derek had to swallow the lump in his throat. He thought if his parents, and unwillingly, of Kate Argent. "We...we do," he said slowly.
"Oh," Stiles said on an outtake of breath.
"But it's different. We can sleep with people...lots even, and that's no problem." He felt Stiles heat up beside him. "But the love thing is...it's a one time deal."
Stiles' heart was pounding. He didn't love Derek, and Derek didn't love him, that wasn't what he was getting at...this was deeper, because Stiles knew the gist of the Hale fire and about Kate and Derek. This was about Stiles getting to know Derek, the really hard shit that Derek didn't want to talk about but Stiles needed to hear it. "So Kate..."
Derek's jaw clenched and the fingers still around Stiles's wrist grew painfully strong.
"I mean...did you love her?" Stiles knew he was treading murky water. He could end up getting hurt just from asking, as was present in the pain at his wrist.
Derek thought he did. She enticed him and how many times had he imagined her as a werewolf? The thought was sickening now. "I was blinded...I thought I loved her," he said calmly. "Seems like I only have half of my mate left."
Derek loosened his grip and turned his head fully. His breath was hot on Stiles' neck. Stiles gulped as Derek pressed his nose against that soft spot beneath Stiles' ear. "It's stronger than human love," Derek explained. "We only ever get one mate."
"Okay," Stiles breathed out. "So it's like...wolflove," he squeaked out the last word because Derek's hand was pressed against his stomach, pinning him down against the mattress. "Um are you...are you gunna like bite me or something?"
Derek rolled onto his side and he lifted his face from Stiles' neck. "No," he said simply, taking his hand from Stiles' torso to his face, grabbing—okay it was technically too soft a gesture to be grabbing, it was more like caressing?—his jaw and nearly pressing his entire body against Stiles' before kissing him.
Stiles had no idea what was going on. He was just tiny and pressed against a mattress by Derek's muscular body and he was completely taken by surprise with the kiss—we're on a freaking bed!—but distracted by other things and then it clicked. "Oh my god, you're scenting me aren't you? You totally are!" which sort of broke the seductive mood.
Derek stared at him as if seeing him for the first time and fell back onto his previous place on the mattress. "Do you even know what that means?"
"Yes! Dude, yes!" Stiles propped himself up in his elbows. "You're gunna like, make sure I smell like you all the time. It's a wolf thing."
Derek scowled. To him it was just athing. Derek never saw a distinction between him and the wolf side...there was no difference, there was just Derek. "Fine, you know what it means," Derek said, the air around them cooling.
Stiles got a rather stupid grin on his face. "Dude, that is kinda awesome." He looked over at Derek before dropping back and scooting over until he had his chin resting on Derek's shoulder. The closeness was good. "That means...you're agreeing to this."
"This." Derek liked the feel of Stiles close. He hadn't liked the feeling of anyone this close to him in this way in years.
"Like...I'm totally going out with a werewolf." Stiles sounded so excited, his heart began to beat faster. He wasn't even worrying about his dad just then, which was always a worry at the back of his mind..
"We need rules," Derek said.
"Yes. No sex."
"What?" Stiles couldn't tell if he was embarrassed or annoyed. Or both.
"You're underaged. And the Sheriffs son."
"Ugh, when you put it that way." Stiles turned back to looking at the ceiling. "So...you can keep sneaking into my room. Make sure no one sees you...my dad has eyes everywhere."
Derek nodded. "If you make dog jokes I will strangle you."
"Noted." Stiles folded his hands and pressed his thumbs together. "So…you know that Isaac is having that pack meeting at his place in like…twenty minutes."
Derek let out a breath through his nose. "That's why you came?"
"Uh…yeah. C'mon, you're the Alpha, your attendance it like necessary at these things." Stiles jumped from the bed and after a little coaxing got Derek up and into some pants so they could head out to the Jeep.
Isaac was having a house warming party. Even though his house was a tiny apartment and he had next to nothing in his possession and he'd been living there for months. Still, it was a pack thing and that meant all the pack had to be there. Especially the Alpha and his human. Well…the human. Stiles was everyone's human.
It was the middle of the day, but for some reason, Stiles really wasn't all that concerned about being seen around with Derek. There had been that time, not long after Stiles had gotten thrown into the world of werewolves, when Derek showed up at Beacon Hills High half dead and had been shoved into Stiles' Jeep by Scott in front of the whole school. Right…so just leisurely driving through town was nothing.
Erica's car was already out front, as was Scott's bike. Poor guy barely had the family car anymore and had reverted back to using his bicycle; it was a good thing that Scott got a helmet for Christmas, even if he didn't actually really need it.
"Crap, we didn't bring anything," Stiles mumbled as they walked through the door—not locked, since this was Beacon Hills, not New York City—to the stairs and started up them to the top floor.
Derek raised an eyebrow.
"What, we're a we now. C'mon, we even have matching jackets." Stiles never went anywhere without wearing his leather jacket. Maybe it was childish, but he didn't really care. He was one of the wolfpack now, he even had their signature jacket. Someone who joined the T-Birds with Danny Zuko and Kenicke didn't not wear their T-Bird jacket.
Derek rolled his eyes as they reached the top floor. There were two apartments per floor and Derek walked straight to the one on the left, door marked 5A. He didn't even bother knocking, he just turned the handle and took a step inside. Stiles followed.
Inside was the noise of chattering and laughing werewolves who had gotten hold of some alcohol and a stereo. It would appear that the rest of the gang were playing drunken Charades.
"Hey, Derek!" Scott exclaimed, the first to really notice the late arrivals. Everyone turned and grinned and yelled out hellos. It was hotter than hell inside—Stiles knew why—so Isaac told everyone to be quiet so he could tell Derek and Stiles they could put their jackets in his bedroom.
Derek grabbed Stiles' coat the second it was off of him and disappeared into the dark room, leaving Stiles blinking and shaking his head before he plopped down on the floor near the cheap couch where Isaac was sitting, Erica nestled between his legs on the floor and Boyd taking up the rest of the space. Scott was also sitting, but Jackson was the only one standing, obviously the one up for acting out something for them to all try and guess.
Before Jackson could even restart his turn, Derek appeared, joining Stiles and Scott on the floor. Well…more like joined Stiles…Derek just sort of sat and pulled Stiles over to him and Jackson just huffed in annoyance at being interrupted again, so Stiles adamantly apologized and told him to continue with whatever he was doing, because really all you could do was appease the drunken richboy werewolf.
The only decoration in the entire place was the picture frame sitting on the kitchen counter, facing the living room. Inside the frame was the entire pack, crowded around and on the couch at the wolfden. There was no lens glare because, shockingly, Derek's contacts idea had worked. Erica was in the middle of the couch, Boyd and Isaac on either side, grinning—not smirking, none of them were smirking—from ear to ear, her hand around each of their arms, pulling them close. Scott was hanging out behind the couch on the side, behind Boyd. Derek was beside him, one arm resting on the back of the couch, the other around Stiles' shoulders. Jackson had set up the camera—it was his camera, but Stiles had brought the tripod it was sitting on, which he got from Danny (that had royally pissed off Jackson, Stiles talking to his best friend, but hey, Stiles was only trying to do this whole guy relationship thing right and who better to ask Danny?)—and had to run to his spot next to Stiles, who cracked a joke that he couldn't remember now. It had sent them into a frenzy of laughter, which was, ironically captured on film. Or, digital chip. Whatever.
And here they were again, laughing as Boyd kept yelling out random foods at Jackson and Erica couldn't stop giggling and Scott actually didn't drink much but still had a dopey smile on his face and Jackson got frustrated and finally yelled out what he was acting. That sent Erica into near hysterical laughter, Stiles suggested opening a window in case it was the heat getting to her, and Derek's chest rumbled behind him, because yes, the big bad Alpha was laughing. He should have been punishing them, but they were just kids, and really, so was he.